South Africa exports to US at risk pending programme review

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South African exports to the US are at risk pending a review of the country’s eligibility for a preferential-trade programme.

The US Trade Representative lodged the review of the nation’s duty-free access to the US market under the so-called Generalized System of Preferences, its oldest and largest trade-preference program for the world’s poorest economies, due to concerns with copyright protection and enforcement, it said in a statement Friday.

Trade in goods and services between South Africa and the US was R275bn in 2018, according to US government data.

Failure to comply with US could see South Africa lose preferential market access under the GSP and the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which allows most sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the US market for more than 6,000 products.

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